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Canton Village Board Considering Three Sites for Dog Park; Hearing on Monday


CANTON - After nearly three years of delays, the Canton Village Board may finally pick a site for a fenced-in village dog park.

A public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday to allow residents the chance to voice their opinion about three different locations.

Notices have been sent to adjoining property owners at the three proposed sites.

A grassy area next to the Partridge Run golf course off Sullivan Drive is the newest location being considered and the most promising at this point, according to Judy L. DeGraaff, a citizen who is spearheading the project.

The space is adjacent to the village’s waste water treatment plant and about a quarter mile from the golf course clubhouse.

“I can’t see who would object to this spot. Offhand, I don’t see a problem,” Ms. DeGraaff said. “I would prefer a neighborhood, but with neighbors you can also run into problems.”

Although the area is filled with tall grass now, Ms. DeGraaff said Village Superintendent Brien E. Hallahan said his public work crews could keep the grass there cut if directed to do so by the village board.

The Sullivan Drive site is about 6 acres, which provides enough room for future expansion and it also has shade trees.

“We’d start with an acre and then we could move one side of the fence if we needed to,” she said.

People who walk the bikepath with their dogs could take a rest at the dog park while their dogs socialize, Mrs. DeGraaff said.

Other proposed spots that will be reviewed Monday include space next to the Canton Volunteer Fire Station, Riverside Drive, and a grassy area on Lincoln Street adjacent to the Buck Street playground.

Ms. DeGraaff said some volunteer firefighters believe the Riverside Drive site won’t work because sirens on the ambulances and fire trucks are too noisy.

A third location on Lincoln Street next to the Buck Street playground only offers about 4,000 square-feet of space, which may be too small, she said.

“If people decide on that space, I would go with it, but I think it’s too small,” she said.

Even if they don’t have strong feelings about specific sites, Ms.DeGraaff said she’s hoping many community members attend the hearing to offer their support for having a dog park in the community.

If the village board approves a site, Ms. DeGraaff said a steering committee will be set up to start making plans for the park.

Mayor Mary Ann Ashley said the Sullivan Drive space has potential, but unlike the other two sites, it’s on the outskirts of the village and most people would have to drive to get there. The golf course is off State Street Road next to the Remington Recreational Trail, a 5-kilometer paved trail that’s a popular spot for dog walkers.

“It seems like a viable alternative, but people will have to drive there with their dogs,” she said.

Two previous sites were scrapped by the village board earlier in the process, including Priest Field, which drew protests from nearby homeowners. Trustees decided against using a portion of Canton Island Park off Main Street because they felt it would interfere with the community’s waterfront revitilization plans.

Ms. Ashley said she is waiting to hear feedback from the public before deciding which site she thinks is most appropriate, but she hopes the project will move forward.

“We’ve been working on this for three years. Potsdam is moving full force with their dog park,” she said.

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